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Old 14 July 2010, 06:57   #1
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Newbie Advice needed

Hi, I'm completely new to this so any advice appreciated!

I want to buy an inflatable that can accommodate 2 adults and 3 children for pottering around Poole Harbour/Studland Beach. Ideally I would like something that can be packed away and put on the roof rack so something fairly light and easy to carry to the beach. My questions are:

- What is the smallest size inflatable I should go for?
- What is more important, carrying capacity in KG or no. of persons? eg will a 4 adult boat accommodate 2 adults and three children if less than the max KG?
- What would be the recommended engine size?
- Any ideas on two stroke or four stroke?
- Are there any benefits in having an aluminium floor as in Honwave?
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Old 14 July 2010, 08:09   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davilu View Post
Hi, I'm completely new to this so any advice appreciated!

I want to buy an inflatable that can accommodate 2 adults and 3 children for pottering around Poole Harbour/Studland Beach. Ideally I would like something that can be packed away and put on the roof rack so something fairly light and easy to carry to the beach. My questions are:

- What is the smallest size inflatable I should go for?
- What is more important, carrying capacity in KG or no. of persons? eg will a 4 adult boat accommodate 2 adults and three children if less than the max KG?
- What would be the recommended engine size?
- Any ideas on two stroke or four stroke?
- Are there any benefits in having an aluminium floor as in Honwave?
It looks like in your case first issue should be boat and engine weight.

In that case I would discard aluminum floor and go for deep V keel (such as Honwave or similar) and 2 stroke 10HP or even less, plus launching wheels (beware Honwave launching wheels are "special", which is more expensive). Also, deep V keels usually mean hard work with the pump. There are fantastic electric air pumps but they are expensive - and before purchasing one, check the pressure you need.

You may consider a wooden floor boat (not as heavy as aluminum, no need for expensive electric pumps, no special launching wheels). Even though, most of the boat weight will be the sponsons. Can you lift 30Kg to the roof rack? Check that with your wife.

Kids size is always important. But kids grow! I would not discard a 5 adult boat.

Engines and cars are not always easy to handle. If you mean to lift the engine to the roof rack, that's not trivial; and if you want to keep it inside yor car, gas does smell a lot.

You should also think about safety material. Not heavy but bulky.

Cheers!
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Old 14 July 2010, 10:23   #3
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Azzuro is bang on with his advice. I would really re-think loading the boat on the roof rack of a car. Would the plan then be for the engine & fuel tank to be loaded in the trunk?

For years, I had transported a folded 10 1/2' zodiac in the trunk with one or two 20 liter fuel tanks and 2 stroke outboards ranging from 15hp to 25hp, BUT; this was in my student & recent post student days when I was driving 15-25 year old rust bucket vehicles. Driving down the highway with all of the windows rolled down (rain or shine on paved or gravel/dust/mud roads) to keep from being overwhelmed by the gas fumes was all part of the 'sibbing experience' for me. That wase in the days when the vehicles I drove were worth a fraction of the brakeless track bicycle that I raced on.

If you drive a 'nice' car, you may want to consider fitting a discreet hitch and having a small utility trailer for hauling the folded boat, motor & gas. There are some really neat folding utility trailers out there, if storage space is at a premium. The utility trailer would definitely be a back saver compared to trying to lift a boat overhead onto a roof rack and trying to maneuver an outboard into a car trunk. It would also open up alot practicial boat & motor options.


In addressing some of your other questions:

- What is the smallest size inflatable I should go for?

I would suggest asking what is the largest size inflatable I could fit into my transportation system.

- What is more important, carrying capacity in KG or no. of persons? eg will a 4 adult boat accommodate 2 adults and three children if less than the max KG?

As with tents, always take maximum person ratings with a huge grain of salt. Also as with tents, for a rough idea of how many people can be comfortably fitted, take the maximum person rating and divide by 2.5-3. Children will require at least as much (if not more) space than adults will (consider whatever additional items that you might want to bring along to keep the kids comfortable). Realistically, an inflatable boat that can comfortably accomodate 5 people simply isn't going to be easily loaded on the roof rack of a car.

- What would be the recommended engine size?

Always, always, always, get the most powerful engine that the boat is rated for AND that you can safely lift to load on the transom & trunk or trailer.

- Any ideas on two stroke or four stroke?

Two strokes have a huge advantage over 4 strokes with regard to power to weight ratios. If you are assembling & disassembling the boat with each use, and boat relatively short distances where you don't need to carry multiple fuel tanks, 2 strokes are the hands down winner.


- Are there any benefits in having an aluminium floor as in Honwave?

I very much prefer a hard floor to an inflatable floor because I'm usually iin choppy conditions & carrying awkward gear. Hard floors feel much more solid whereas inflatable floors have a sloppy/floppy feel to them. Their is some weight & setup time penalty for having a hard floor however. A number of boat brands offer either type of floor in a given size.
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Old 14 July 2010, 12:03   #4
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Originally Posted by prairie tuber View Post
Two strokes have a huge advantage over 4 strokes with regard to power to weight ratios.
and they also don't care what way up they go in the boot!


A sideline thought ref. folding it and putting on the roof, there are some natty devices for getting dingies (laser, topper) onto roof racks single handed. I guess with a bit of adaption a rolled SIB could be maybe sat on a cradle, or just in/deflate at home & car top as if it were a laser?

Yes, outboards in the boot smell, but with the fan up at high & the rear windows cracked open, you don't notice it. It's just one of the hazards / delights of portable outboards.
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Old 14 July 2010, 13:20   #5
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Newbie Advice needed

Thanks for all the really helpful advice - nothing is straightforward is it!

I clearly want the impossible which is lots of space for the family and associated bits and bobs plus the smallest inflatable so that I can carry it on the roof of the car. The Honwave 3.2 weighs in at 38kg without the engine which doesn't seem too heavy for two people to put on the roof? It's hard to judge without actually trying it.

I was edging towards a 3.2 metre Honwave with a 5hp two stroke with aero floor to keep the weight down.
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Old 14 July 2010, 16:06   #6
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I have my Yamaha SIB which weighs 44kgs on the roofrack of my Volvo (saloon) and have the mariner 5hp outboard in the boot. I keep the boat inflated as it has a wooden floor and getting it in and out is a bit of a pain, not keen on wear by constantly rolling & unrolling either. No smell of petrol in the car - obviously if you drive a hatchback this may be a small issue.
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Old 14 July 2010, 16:32   #7
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Me & a mate put his honwave on the roof of his freelander quite easily , but there are versions of the same boat around ( made in the same factory I think) available for less money ( new). I think one of the boaty magazines did a review of a load of them in the last 6 months - maybe worth a google ?

I'd also suggest more than 5hp may be needed or you may find yourself unable to get in/out of Poole with a full boat when the tide is running. Really go for the max the boat/you can handle/carry.
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Old 14 July 2010, 17:15   #8
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Hi there,
as someone who was in the same position as you just over 12 months ago I thought I'd put my bit in...... I'm not saying that It is right for you but worth mulling over along with the other advice you get on here.

1st of all...WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO ??????

I know you said you want to 'potter about' but you need to be more specific.

You mentioned the sea but to be honest 2 adults n 2 kids at sea with a 5hp in my opinion is a bit dodgy, ok for windermere, not for the sea.

We ended up opting for the Honwave 3.8m Inflatable floor with 15 hp engine. Its been used at sea a few times and on the lakes.... been fab.

Also don't rule out a trailler,150 off ebay and was a god send... so easy, only deflate for winter and leave it up for the rest of the year.

Best wishes

Jake
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Old 14 July 2010, 18:22   #9
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Once again thanks for the advice, particularly regarding engine size. Looks like I need to increase my budget.
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Old 15 July 2010, 18:09   #10
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Hi guys,

Just a small note about petrol/gas smell in the car...

When finishing up for the day, someone on here recommended disconnecting the gas/petrol tank and letting the engine run on until it dies due to lack of fuel. This clears the pipe from the fuel inlet to the business end, which means that there is hopefully minimal petrol/gas left in there to evaporate and turn your car into a fume filled hell-hole.

It seems to take an age for the engine to run on - particularly if you have some sailors behind you on the pontoon eager to get their boats out of the water and themselves into the bar - but it has made our post-SIBing return journeys much more comfortable.

Only caveat: we have a fourstroke rather than a two, but I can't see why that should render the procedure null and void.
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